The fact that this years Under 13s Cornwall County team was solely represented by Truro School boys is a great testament to the continued success and investment in squash at Truro School. Inter-Counties is an England-wide tournament and saw Cornwall drawn against Avon, South-East Wales and Devon in the first round played at Newton Abbot.
With four boys making their county debut, the first match against Avon was tense. George P (5th-string) played with great consistency and determination winning 11-9, 11-9, 11-5). Jason A skilfully won a very close match 12-10, 11-9, 18-16. Ben T (playing 3rd-string) very narrowly lost 3 games to 2 (13/11, 2/11, 6/11, 11/9, 8/11). Jack M and Louis M (ranked 33 and 45 in England respectively) won their matches quite comfortable (11/6, 11/3, 11/1 and 11/2, 11/3, 11/0).
Next match up was against South East Wales who have great quality and strength in depth. Milo C lost in three games to a talented young player (2/11, 2/11, 1/11). Jason Ayliffe (8/11, 11/7, 7/11, 3/11) and Ben T (7/11, 11/9, 8/11, 12/14) both competed well against strong players but narrowly lost 3-1. Jack M (1st –string) played well against an agile opponent and lost narrowly 3-1 (3/11, 8/11, 11/6, 9/11). Louis M bucked the trend and overpowered the Welsh 2nd-string player, playing with great skill and focus winning 11/4, 11/1, 11/3.
The last match was against Devon, who earlier beat South East Wales 5-0 and are one of the favourites to win the Inter-Counties. Although Jason A (9/11, 2/11, 7/11), George P (3/11, 0/11, 4/11) and Milo C (6/11, 2/11, 13/15) all lost in 3, each player enjoyed the experience and competed well against good squash players who play at a high level. This bodes well for the future of squash in Cornwall. Jack M(1st-string) played an old adversary (Ioan Sharpe, the Welsh No. 1) who Jack had recently beaten convincingly in Exeter. But on the day Ioan was on great form not putting a foot wrong and Jack lost in 3 (11/9, 11/6, 11/8). The last match of the round turned out to be the best match of the day. Louis M had recently beaten Billy W in the semi-final of the Bristol Open. Both players play with great skill and strength and the first game went to the wire with Billy winning 16-14 (after Louis had been leading 10-6). In the second game Billy consolidated his lead and when Louis faced two match points in the 3rd it looked all over. But Louis kept calm and played amazingly controlled and intelligent squash to win the 3rd 12-10. The next two games were ferocious with Louis keeping a focus on the quality and variety of his shots to pull off a great comeback winning the final two games 11-7 and 11.6.
Although Cornwall came third on the day, there were great signs that squash has a great future in the County of Cornwall and Truro School.